Q&A

How much time off to donate kidney?

03/29/2017
Q. I am a small employer. One of my employees plans to donate a kidney to her sibling. She will need to take time off for the surgery and recovery. How much time can she take off? Must it be paid?

Must I grant time off for employee to participate in firefighter training?

03/29/2017
Q. An employee who is a volunteer firefighter wants to take two weeks off to engage in related trainings. That seems like a lot of time to miss. Must I allow him to take this time off?

During crunch time, what are the meal break rules for long shifts?

03/29/2017
Q. We are entering the busy season at work and would like our employees to work longer hours than usual for the next two months. Do we have any obligations to provide our employees with additional meal breaks if they work longer than eight hours in one day?

Are departing employees legally allowed to demand a copy of their personnel files?

03/23/2017
Q. If an employee is leaving the company and they request to take with them a copy of their complete personnel file, do they have the right to receive it? If so, does that include all records from their separate medical file and any confidential files?

Can we refuse to pay out accrued vacation if employee suddenly quits?

03/23/2017
Q. Our company policy is not to pay an employee for unused vacation time if the employee resigns without giving the required two weeks’ notice. A former employee has challenged this policy and is threatening to take the company to court. Is this policy lawful?

Do we have to keep job open for Minn. employee on extended jury duty?

03/23/2017
Q. We are a small business and cannot afford to have employees out for extended leaves. One of our employees will be on jury duty for a trial that we’re told could continue for at least a month. Do we have to keep her job open to her when the trial is over?

What should happen if employee uses company credit card for personal purchases?

03/07/2017
Q. Several of our employees have been issued company credit cards, intended to be used for company-related business only. However, one employee has occasionally used his card for personal purchases. Each time he has reimbursed the company for his personal purchases over the course of several months. Naturally, we are uncomfortable with this practice. What should we do?

Is it legitimate to prohibit our employees from discussing their compensation?

03/07/2017
Q. Our policy prohibits employees from discussing their salaries and benefits with each other. This helps reduce untimely requests for raises, petty gossip and the inevitable questions about why one employee makes more than another. Is such a policy a good idea?

How to pay for work-related driving expenses?

02/27/2017
Q. What methods can I use to compensate my employees for their work-related driving expenses?

What's the reimbursement rate for work mileage employees put on their personal vehicles?

02/27/2017
Q. Some of my employees are required to drive their personal cars to and from various worksites during working hours. Do I have to compensate these employees for the miles they drive during this travel? If so, how much per mile must I reimburse them for?

Can I cap how much vacation employees can accrue and still comply with California law?

01/30/2017
Q. My employees receive one week of paid vacation per year. Since I cannot have a use-it-or-lose-it policy, can I just cap vacation accrual at five days?

Is there a problem with requiring applicants to meet height and weight standards?

01/30/2017
Q. May we impose height and weight requirements on job applicants?

OK to demand photos with applications?

01/30/2017
Q. Can we require job applicants to submit photographs with their résumés and applications?

What should we do? Only after accepting job did we figure out her husband works here

01/30/2017
Q. We recently hired an amazing applicant for a position at our large accounting firm. After signing her offer, she casually mentioned that her husband works here. We have a policy against office romances. Can we dismiss either her or her husband for this reason?

Can we urge an employee to change her name?

01/30/2017
Q. With Valentine’s Day around the corner and love in the air, I think it would be an opportune time to convince our employee to take her husband’s last name.
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